How accurate is it to say that there was very little difference in the social and economic policies of Labour and Conservative governments in the years 1945-64?

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  • How accurate is it to say that there was very little difference in the social and economic policies of Labour and Conservative governments in the years 1945-64?
    • Thesis: consensus (similarities in policy
      • Despite the radical nature of Attlee's government, 1951-64 (Con) was generally still Keynesian/committed to a welfare state
      • Lack of disagreement: Butskellism
      • Labour strengthened welfare with NHS - continue by Conservatives (increased school/home building)
      • 1945-64 supported these policies to sustain a mixed economy
      • Labour nationalised major industries across all economic sectors/ Conservatives maintained them
      • Both Labour/Conservatives targeted industrial growth/ full employment
    • Antithesis: challenge to consensus
      • Labour policies (45-51) favoured planned/managed economy, whereas Conservatives (51-64) favoured as much deregulation
      • Conservatives didn't extent/ make welfare provision more generous
      • Conservatives supported the NHS, but implemented some charging services/ little to invest
      • Conservatives denationalised 2 industry sectors: iron/steel an road haulage
      • 'Austerity' policies (rationing/regulation/control favoured by Cripps (Labour) were slowly discarded e.g. income tax reduced, price control/regulations relaxed
      • £ devalued further in 1949, resisted further by Conservatives
    • Introduction: define 'Consensus'

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